Friday, April 9, 2010

[General]CS downs HSin, Vengeance

Last night I raided for the first time in 3 months. In essentially the same gear I left save one more piece of T10, which was important; that was the 4pT10 bonus. I was doing this mostly because due to some burnout and churn, we had lost a few raiders recently and we were short.

We were doing Sin on HM - a progression kill for us. It had been a hard, annoying fight for some time. Aside from the mechanics which are very punishing for individual mistakes, the annoying voice just grates beyond belief. Ugh.

Anyway, we downed her with me in the raid, filling in for our resident feral whose hard drive decided to melt down the day before. (Sorry, Bone) I didn't even do that horribly despite only doing the fight once on 10 man normal; I didn't kill people with blocks, I didn't break out blocks too early, I didn't blow up (until the fight was done) and was (mostly) okay. Didn't even do horribly on DPS, though certainly not what I was doing when I left; losing two tiers of gear progression will do that :p Congrats to Casually Serious on getting 10/12 HM down, and getting US 182nd kill of her.

I gotta say, it felt great. It felt great to be a part of progression kills, especially ones that were frustrating. It was great to be able to hang out with friends in that kind of environment again. It was fun to see the old folks and meet the new. It was great knowing I did contribute some and I wasn't a detriment to the fight. It was great to finish up the instance too and work on PP hard mode and get a kill of Lich King - my first on both. Even ended up with Astrylian's Sutured Cinch and a 264 tier piece. I desperately wanted the former to just have; it would have bugged not getting the tribute gear for the guy who did so much for the community.

Mostly, it was just fun to play.

I'm very grateful to CS for giving me that chance again. And for giving me an excuse to write some things again. It's still not going to bring me back to raiding; I didn't give up raiding because I didn't enjoy it, and it's still too conflicting with personal time, family time and missing time with my children to do so on a regular, scheduled basis. That's the real difficulty; if I could simply log on whenever I wanted and raid, that would be great. More importantly, if I could just stop raiding mid-raid and help out or eat dinner or play with the kids, that would be ideal. But that's not raiding.

Still, I hope that I'll get to do more things like this in the future. And while I hope CS fixes their attendance and roster soon, I'll be happy to help out when I can. :)

Speaking of: CS is still recruiting. If you are an outstanding player and want to work on hardmode progression without spending 5 nights a week killing yourself because raiders can't move out of fires and don't understand things like 'move left', this may be the guild for you. CS's needs change constantly, so check for our specific needs at any time.

Onto the announced preview changes. The one I want to talk about today is Vengeance. Vengeance is an interesting idea: here's what the blue preview had to say about it:

Vengeance: This new mechanic is designed to ensure that tank damage output (and therefore threat) doesn't fall behind as damage-dealing classes improve their gear during the course of the expansion. All tanking specs will have Vengeance as their second talent tree passive bonus. Whenever a tank gets hit, Vengeance will grant a stacking Attack Power buff equal to 5% of the damage done, up to a maximum of 10% of the character's unbuffed health. For boss encounters, we expect that tanks will always have an Attack Power bonus equal to 10% of their health. The 5% and 10% bonuses assume 51 talent points have been put into the Blood tree; these values will be smaller at lower levels.

You only get the Vengeance bonus if you have spent the most talent points in the Blood tree, so you won't see Frost or Unholy death knights running around with it. Vengeance will let us continue to design tank gear more or less the way we do today; there will be some damage-dealing stats, but mostly survival-oriented stats. Druids typically have more damage-dealing stats even on their tanking gear, so their Vengeance benefit may be smaller, but the goal is that all four tanks will do about the same damage when tanking
So what does that mean for you? Here are my concerns (posted at Tankspot as well):

My concern is that health is not going to grow at the same rate that DPS grows, which means that this buff is not going to be enough. My secondary concern is that while it does add more damage, it is still not a huge amount, and it is only off of one stat; even given two stats (strength and stamina) this simply is not going to compete against DPSers gaining benefit from 4-5 stats on an itemization value unless the scaling is totally weird.

On the first point, let me illustrate. In tier7 most tanks were approaching or exceeding 40k health buffed, and maybe 30k unbuffed. Most DPS (buffed) were able to do 4-5k DPS. By tier 10, however, the unbuffed health had risen to 50k or so (not druids, mind you). This is an increase of only 66%. By comparison, DPS are able to routinely hit 12-13k DPS - an increase of 140-160%. That's bad. When you have a stat you want to scale not scale at the same rate as another stat, you're going to have problems.

Then you have the issue of the actual talents scaling with AP. Right now, many tanks have horrible scaling with AP. Druids at least have a ton of 'this does additional threat' which screws over AP scaling - and lacerate even divides the AP by 2!

Then you have the issue of stats. This is what druids have had to deal with for eons: that because they only scale with 2 or 3 important stats relative to other tanking classes, those scaling factors have to be pretty insane for them to be competitve. And naturally, that means imbalance for certain outliers, like polar gear. Same thing here; either things are going to scale too well or not well enough.

I think it's a decent idea - it gives tanks a boost to DPS based on health but only when being hit - but it's not sufficient by itself.

Now, Jere pointed out (Rightly) that while the scaling is bad the base threat may compensate for this; tanks started out significantly ahead on threat at the start of WotLK, and if they do so in Cat that might work out okay. But it's certainly something to think about and consider.

Anyway, that's it for now; I'll talk about the actual druid changes in a bit.


Anonymous said...

Glad you had fun! :D always a tremendous moment of victory when a progression boss falls.

Frank said...

Your 'breakdown' and 'mathematical analysis' of what it is to be part of a family was right on. When you spend so much time with other people you genuinely build a family or team mentality, but sometimes you really have to step back to home base. You've done a ton of good for the druid community and I expect that will translate into what an awsome family life you have. Whatever time you have to 'raid', you know that WoW was always more than the lastest kill and the meters. Love and light to you!

Mitch said...

Welcome back. And I was just going to take you out of my bookmarks =P lol

Brenton said...

Kalon's back?!

I hope so :)